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Elevated fastball key to Zach McAllister's success
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com

Indians manager Terry Francona said starting pitcher Zach McAllister, who won a second straight start Wednesday at Detroit, is at his best when he's keeping his fastball high in the strike zone.

"When he elevates by design, it's good," Francona said, per MLB.com. "Part of that is, when he's throwing the ball down and he changes their eye level, that's when you see the swing and miss."

Indians pitching coach Mickey Callaway said he's been encouraged by McAllister's last two starts. He has a 1.89 ERA and 0.81 WHIP in his last two starts, as well as 11 strikeouts in 13 2/3 innings.

"I think it's huge, because he's such a fastball guy," Callaway said. "I thought the biggest adjustment the last two games is he's pounding the zone, but he's doing it down in the zone. So, when he leaves the ball up, he gets a swing and miss or maybe it eats them up. That makes that high fastball effective."

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Lonnie Chisenhall has done a good job of 'staying ready'
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com

Indians manager Terry Francona has been impressed with how third baseman Lonnie Chisenhall has adapted to a role of coming off the bench.

"He's done a really good job of staying ready," Francona said, per MLB.com. "I think he's been on time more often. I actually think he has the ability that, when he really figures it out, then I think he can be dangerous for a long time. He's got bat speed. He's got the ability to adjust to offspeed pitches. I think there's some thunder in that bat."

Chisenhall, who entered Thursday batting .421 (8 for 19) with four doubles in six games, said he entered the season with a new mental approach.

"If I started out the game 0-for-1 [in the past], I'd try to get two hits in my second at-bat," Chisenhall said. "That's kind of how I felt. It wasn't beneficial. ... I still feel over-anxious every once in a while. I just step out of the box and gather myself. It's been a long road to get here, but I feel better about where I'm at."

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A.J. Burnett lights-out in no-decision Thursday
by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com

Right-hander A.J. Burnett hurled easily his best game in four starts in a Phillies uniform Thursday, but could not come away with a win.

Burnett engaged in a pitcher's duel against Atlanta lefty Alex Wood for seven innings, during which he blanked the Braves on three hits with two walks and five strikeouts. He was saddled with a no-decision, but his performance allowed his team to emerge with a 1-0 victory.

He will attempt to secure his first win with Philadelphia on Tuesday against the host Dodgers.

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Who would be hard-luck loser Thursday? Alex Wood
by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com

Braves left-hander Alex Wood played the role of hard-luck loser in a fine complete-game performance Thursday in Philadelphia.

Wood matched shutout innings with A.J. Burnett until yielding an RBI single to Ben Revere with two out in the eighth. He surrendered eight hits, walked none and fanned seven in lowering his ERA to 1.89. His lone walk kept the eighth inning alive.

He will get a chance to improve his 2-2 record in a Tuesday showdown against Miami stud Jose Fernandez.

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Jose Tabata not in Thursday lineup, but physically fine
by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com

Pirates outfielder Jose Tabata is a healthy scratch for the game Thursday against Milwaukee. He was deemed questionable with concussion-like symptoms after slamming against the left field wall Wednesday.

Tabata is available off the bench.

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Knee ailment, caution, keeping Angel Pagan out Thursday
by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com

The absence of Giants center fielder Angel Pagan from the Thursday lineup against the Dodgers is due to mild knee soreness.

Bruce Bochy told CSNBayArea.com that he was merely being cautious in keeping Pagan out. He is expected to return in time for the weekend series in San Diego.

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Brett Anderson has surgery on fractured finger
by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com

Rockies left-hander Brett Anderson underwent surgery Thursday to repair a fractured left index finger, per the Denver Post, which is further reporting that the operation went well.

Anderson is expected to be sidelined at least until late May.

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Stephen Pryor heading to the minors
by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com

Mariners pitcher Stephen Pryor has been activated from the disabled list and sent to Triple-A, according to the Tacoma News Tribune.

Pryor has been dealing with a triceps injury, but has been able to get through rehab outings. Pryor will likely be up with the major-league club at some point, but will start his season in the minors.

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Matt Joyce sitting out Thursday
by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com

Rays outfielder Matt Joyce is not in the team's lineup Thursday.

Joyce will be spelled by Logan Forsythe, who will play left field. Brandon Guyer will play center field. Joyce is hitting .333 in 36 at-bats. 

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Confirmed: Bryce Harper back Thursday for Nationals
by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com

As expected, Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper has returned to the lineup for the Thursday game against St. Louis after missing one game with a quad ailment.

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